When you really need a cell booster with an outdoor antenna

The latest wave of cellular boosters like this EZ4G from SureCall are designed for people who can’t or won’t put a cellular antenna up on their roofs. Believe me, I get it. Maybe you live in an apartment. Maybe you just don’t go up on roofs because, you know, it’s dangerous. There are a lot of reasons that you’d want a booster that didn’t require a trip up there.

The advantage of these boosters is pretty obvious. Whether it’s the EZ4G or a much smaller unit like the zBoost ZB540, you just set up the unit near a window (or attach a small antenna to a window.) Then make sure that the booster’s broadcast antenna is 10-15 feet away from that antenna near the window, and boom, you’re done. Different manufacturers do it differently. The EZ4G builds the window antenna into the amplifier, the ZB540 uses a small window-mounted antenna and puts the other antenna on the base unit. Then there’s the Cel-Fi series that have two wireless units that plug into the wall but don’t need a cable between them. No matter how it’s done, it’s easy to install one of these systems.

But what if they’re not right for you?

If you don’t get good cell service when you stand at a window, one of these indoor-only boosters isn’t going to work for you. If you’re in a valley or behind a hill or just too far from a cellular signal, there’s no getting around it… you’re going to either have to get up on the roof or hire someone to do it for you. Before you decide on a cell booster you should at least get up there or have someone else get up there to measure the cell phone signal. If it’s still not great, you may want to put the antenna up on a mast or use a really strong antenna and booster combination, one that is so strong that you couldn’t really have the two antennas indoors.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.